Will you be paying attention to the Copenhagen climate talks?

Today marks the start of the Copenhagen climate change conference, where government officials from around the world will try to reach a deal on a common strategy. Will you be paying attention to the Copenhagen climate talks?

Comments texted to MPR:

Yes, and I hope our world’s leaders will put aside industry and national loyalties and be bold enough to agree to meaningful treaties for the good of this earth and all its citizens. -Angela, Bemidji, MN

Climate change is not on my radar on a day to day, minute to minute basis. Water meters in the bathroom or power meters in living areas would help. -Erik, Minneapolis, MN

  • Francesca Funk

    You betcha! I would like my child & grandchildren to have a healthy planet to live on.

  • Peter

    Do I have a choice? If having a mature national dialogue is what we need to address the reality of climate change, then everyone must remain well-informed on the political discourse, at hand.

    I will be paying attention and pushing others to do so, as well.

  • Steven

    Unfortunately, Copenhagen won’t produce anything of substance, but it’s still worth watching. On the plus side, at long last I have a president I can count on not to embarrass me on the international stage.

  • John J Taylor

    I continue to be amazed at your constant pandering and promotion of this event. Rather than informing your listeners of the facts seriously challenging the man-made climate change theories – and that is all they are, theories – you continue to promote the socialist party line that the science is settled – far from true. This conference is nothing more than a global wealth redistribution effort promoted by the U.N. and those in the scientific community whose income and well being depends on government grants supporting politically correct climate pronouncements.

    Your “news” reporting on this subject assumes the correctness of the popular theories and paints those who intellectually disagree as “deniers” – a word I have heard used often in your reports. There are many reasons to support energy efficiency, but “man-made global warming” is not one of them.

    This is one main reason I have dropped my financial support of your efforts substantially and directed what little we now give to classical music only.

  • Sarah

    YES! Human-caused global warming is a scientific fact and it is threatening both our lifestyle in the U.S. and millions of lives around the planet. It is the most important issue of our time and it’s great to give it the attention and thought it deserves. If only we could act faster…

  • Mary Alice

    Yes, yes. I think we are in grave danger of extinction if we don’t get started on the long process of dealing with this issue. Many people are dealing with it and many great changes are occurring. We need more media enthusiasm for those with foresight and much less attention to the few people who are focusing on their own short term comfort. Let’s hear it for Copenhagen? Hurray!

  • Dain Rodwell

    I would suggest you ask listeners if they were more likely to take any action to change personal conservation habits as a result of listening and paying attention to the conferences. It’s much easier to listen and do nothing…

  • JC Lundegaard
  • Damon Moss

    Yes, but I don’t think I’ll be surprised by any outcome. There has been so much traction lost on any comprehensive meaningful change, that I fear we’ll have to wait even longer, for economies to recover, etc..before we are able to get everyone back to the table.

  • Steven

    Up intil the Civil War, lots of Americans were objecting that the abolition of slavery would wreck the economy. Abolition was the right thing to do anyway.

    Unchecked global warming will cause much more human misery than American slavery did. And, like slavery, the ones most responsible for the problem are the ones who will suffer the least.

    What is our moral responsibility to our fellow human beings?

  • Bob

    Yes – very much – my 17 year old daughter is there as a delegate. Regardless of what else happens, I’m hoping we can get the next generation involved in moving for real change.

  • Evy Engrav

    Absolutely. I am actually grateful that I will be dead by 2070. I feel sorry for our children and their children who will have to fix our mess. On a flight yesterday, an older couple from Arizona stated “I feel sorry for our kids. I will be dead by the time global warming has a major impact. California will be gone. Arizona will be unlivable.”

    This is not a “democratic” issue–this is a human species issue.


  • chuck dayton

    thanks for focusing on this.

  • Norris

    Why should we worry about global warming when President Obama makes two trips to Europe with the carbon footprint he will make during those trips? Each trip requires Air Force One, the backup 747, at least 2 large Air Force cargo planes for the limo and backup, Secret Service vehicles, ambulance, staff, communications, etc.

    He has said he would make one trip, now he is making two trips. His carbon footprint is larger than anything I can put out.

  • The issue of climate change has become so politicized that it’s nearly impossible to take an honest unbiased look at the science behind it. Science should be driven by a desire to learn and discover as much about the universe as we possibly can, not by the desire to enact global social and political change. Once the arenas of science and politics become intermixed, all bets are off as the recently leaked email scandal makes painfully clear.

  • Hazel Stone

    I’m ready for the serious change that Obama promised on the campaign trail–deep, meaningful cuts to the pollution that causes global warming and screws up our air quality, getting out of these awful wars and investing in green infrastructure to create jobs.

    We can’t keep living like grasshoppers. We need to start acting like really, really smart ants.

  • Mike in St Paul

    Yes. My children and their children deserve a clean, healthy world, and policy changes are an important step in fixing what we’ve done to our world.

    I find it morally reprehensible that some people claim that business would falter because of the added responsibility of taking care of the environment. Until we have the technology to colonize Mars or some other planet, we must take care of the earth.

  • claire

    yes. thank you for mentioning it.

    for the obama administration, health care is on it’s way, so now focus is on domestic economy and wars…but need to keep climate change on the agenda, even if solid action cannot be taken right now.

  • James


    A collection of greeny / tree hunger / liberals can never make up there minds on what to do.

    The USA needs more nuclear power as well as solar / wind / hydro.

  • Sarah Risser

    Yes! This is an extremely important meeting; there is so much at stake. It is imperative that the countries of the world come together and agree on meaningful emissions reductions.

  • I will not as I have become jaded with the Govt’s attitude of this will hurt the economy, so we cannot.

    Our obsession with growing our economy at such an unrealistic rate is why we are where we are now; bigger car, t.v., etc.

    Why cannot an economy be more about taking care of the people who support it instead of fleecing them?

    Change needs to start at a local level i.e. community, state level and not the larger level.

    Lead by example.

    Live slower, reduce consumption, and live better

  • Bill A

    No matter where you stand on the “Climate change” debate we should all be concerned with unchecked pollution.

  • Charles

    Yes, I will follow through MPR/NPR/BBC. I am disappointed that this issue has been blurred by petty political distractions. What the talks come down too is the Carbon Cycle, which is rarely heard about anymore. Climate is more than just the day to day weather and current attack talking points blur this distinction.

    While I hope for the best, I am also aware that international geopolitics will also make things difficult to accomplish any lofty goals that are spoken about. Even though the science is solid, short term and long term economic issues will make the goals hard to achieve.

  • Amy Blumenshine

    Count me among those who think addressing climate change is incredibly urgent. I will be paying considerable attention to what happens in Copenhagen — as well as praying for the delegates and their constituents. I also am very interested in the larger gathering outside of the official conference. I want to know how the young people from Minnesota will be experiencing the event. And, in response to some other posts, my family is addressing our pollution and acting to diminish that. Today for instance, I will be hanging our laundry to dry. Simple changes — cut down on pointless energy use. Industry has got to give us alternatives to those stupid transistors that use energy constantly.

  • Michael

    Yes! This is THE critical issue of the next 20 years. As Tim Flannery points out we are already passed the “Tipping Point” ( where if we stop pollution and do nothing we’ll still be cooked) and are only 20 years from the “Point of No Return” (evidenced by the melting of the polar icecap.)

    As “The Economist” points out we need a price on carbon of $40/ton, but the US will only agree to approximately $12/ton, making a mockery of the conference.

    Currently cost to global GDP will only be around 1% compared to 5% for the bank bailout, delaying action will increase this cost to 30% of global GDP.

    We have met the soon to be extinct species and they is us.

  • Gary Anderson

    I care about the future my children will live in, so I am following this conference with GREAT interest. I desperately hope real action will be achieved, although I wonder if we are up to the challenge. Many people would rather just pretend Climate Change doesn’t exist.

  • Steve

    No. Although global warming is important, there are just too many views and opinions in the world that make it impossible to understand. Additional, there are reports and findings that dispute certain aspects of global warming that are not given proper attention by the international community. I do not believe that complete, comprehensive and coordinated studies have been done to include finding that may dispute global warming.

    Additionally, until “herd” mentally applies to where everyone is on board with saving the planet, the Copenhagen Conference seems to be an exercise in futility.

  • kennedy

    China is the leading generator of greenhouse gases and has been since 2006


    Yes I will follow the story.

  • Ashley

    Yes, I’ll be following it. Climate change is going to drastically change our society, one way or another. We should be addressing it now in a positive way.

  • Tom

    I’ll be following the convetion knowing that the evidence of global warming/cooling has been happening since before records were kept. To think that men and women are soley responsible for the cyclical changes in the atmosphere, not to mention the earth’s axis is also moving from its original position, is not only incompetent, but ignorant. The real reason for the global warming phenom is for the government to enact greater controls on its people. To me, its like sheep being let to slaughter. So blind, so blind…….

  • DNA

    Yes…what are the chances worldwide propagation of hemp/cannabis, bamboo etc…will be mandated?

  • Peacenic

    There is no choice since political, media and academic bias have joined together. Science and propaganda are corrupt. Climate has never been nor ever will be static. And arrogance of impotent men to effect climate would be laughable were consequences not so dire to economies and families. Ask no sympathy when you can no longer afford to drive, heat your house or pay electric bill and employers have to tighten belts yet again. Welcome world governance to your town and street and kiss last vestige of our Constitution goodby. Would offer corroborating data, but you have no interest in facts, only repugnant dogma.

  • Brad

    There is Climate Change. It is also called the Weather.

    This event is worth ignoring. It is ridiculous to contemplate adding more government control over our lives for such a discredited philosophy. Our President should put aside this foolishness, and start behaving like a President. The problem right now is stagnation of economic growth and the resulting job loss associated with it. The increase of debt, the inflation of our money, the coming tax rate hikes: these are the issues that need to be worked on.

    I’m starting to believe that this administration is completely unable to govern.

  • Reuben Koutal

    Sure I do. Everyone should. Does it do any good? It’s a matter of feeling to belong, and that if you let someone else do it, as naturally everyone else does, eventually no one does. If everyone is selfish in a savage manner about popular material things, like stones and iron, this environment thing is the main thing that everyone in his right mind should dedicate all his endeavors to, day in and day out. Honestly, all these stones and metals are unconsciously, meant, or were made to make it easier for us, go gain these viatl things in life to survive, to make it easier for humans to exchange one necessity for another, potable water, fruit, vegetable, grain, you name, without exaggeration. So, if I do? I think if one doesn’t, he or she is stabbing the self on the back, spoiling the body, instead of enliving, and cherish. We don’t use toilet paper. We don’t use napkins, except rubbing off the dust. You can take it from there. Lights? All 18W or 35W fluoroscents and a few spot halogens, which we are gradually switching to 48LED table lamps. Thanks for reading.

  • Emily

    Hello MPR folks,

    For the last 2 days I have heard stories on Morning Edition about The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and more specifically how climate negotiations may affect Minnesotans. However, instead of referring to the Climate Change Conference, your reporters (I heard Perry and Cathy) have been referring to the Global Warming Conference. While I know that much of the world/media uses these phrases (climate change and global warming) in synonymous and interchangeable ways, there are distinct differences in the way they actually play out in the world. Global warming refers to the overall increase in planetary temperatures. This term often carries an attitude and stigma with it that is thrown around on days like today when it is 10 degrees and people say “Global warming? Yeah right.” Unless it is really hot out (“I guess that’s global warming for you!”), many people, in my opinion, do not take it seriously. However, climate change refers to the change in distribution and frequency of worldwide weather patterns. We are seeing more intense weather, like hurricanes, and more of them. In addition, you see changes like only one snow storm (in October!) in MN until December 8th! While the two go hand in hand, much of what the COP15 talks are dealing with is how the changes in the climate will affect people around the world and how we can curb and mitigate the human caused effects.

    I am sure you are all aware of these differences, however, I wanted to bring forward the question: WHY are you referring to the conference as the Global Warming Conference instead of the Climate Change Conference? Maybe global warming is viewed as being a more understandable and less “complex” term than climate change? Either way, I do think the reporters should be accurate when referring to the official event, as it is the Climate Change Conference. Talk about global warming, yes, but be accurate in the title.